Pac-Man World Re-Pac
Image: Bandai Namco

Update - [Wed 16th Nov, 2022 09:25 GMT]: Bandai Namco has pushed an update to Pac-Man World: Repac, which finally credits the original developers of the game. It comes after months of campaigning from Pac-Man fans and former Namco Hometek staff like designer Scott Rogers.

Last Month (October 6th), Bandai Namco US tweeted that an update was coming after receiving blowback online but media silence led some, including Rogers, to have doubts over the status of this update. Now Bandai Namco has finally updated the game to include a more complete list of credits, alongside adding higher-quality audio tracks.

Original Article - [Thu 1st Sep, 2022 15:30 GMT]: Recently, the conversation around crediting in games erupted again, after former Namco Hometek game designer Scott Rogers, noticed that the original team behind Pac-Man World: 20th Anniversary was missing from Bandai Namco's remaster of the game Pac-Man World: Re-Pac.

Taking to Twitter, Rogers tweeted, "Shame on you @BandaiNamcoUS for not crediting the original #pacmanworld team in #PacmanWorldRePac. This game is a 100% recreation of the original down to the level designs and pac-dot placement. I’m extremely disappointed that you failed to do something that would literally take minutes to do."

We reached out to Bandai Namco to get a response to Roger's tweet. A spokesperson for Bandai Namco UK told us, "We don’t have any comment to provide, but I’ll let you know if there is an update." A social media person for Bandai Namco US did reply to Rogers, however, on the same day as our initial enquiry, stating, "Thank you for bringing this to our attention! We hear you and we are looking into it currently."

The phenomenon of not receiving a legacy credit on a port, remaster, or remake is something that is surprisingly common in the games industry. In 2018, Waypoint highlighted three examples where this was the case: Cygames' Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner, Vicarious Visions' Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, and Bluepoint's Shadow of the Colossus. And this is only a small sample of the numerous cases we've encountered during our research.

In the past, industry groups like the International Game Developers Association have issued guidelines, which clearly state that "Ports, remasters, remakes, and rereleases must retain the original names that worked on the game" and that "Original credits [should] come first, delineated by an “Original Team Credits” header (or something similar), followed by the new credits list."

Katie Golden, IGDA Game Credits SIG chair, explains the reasoning behind this, "As the creative minds that authored the source material, it's important to retain credit to the game's original developers, even when a new set of developers have brought the game forward to new platforms and audiences. Game credits are a feature of the game itself, and when credits are incorrect, we recommend treating the issue like a bug that was caught post-launch by fixing it via a patch or hotfix."

These rules can be found in both the IGDA's quick guide and in the full set of guidelines available on the IGDA website. Nevertheless, enforcing them has often proved difficult, due to the lack of proper credit arbitration in the games industry.

IGDA credit guidelines
Image: IGDA

Speaking to Time Extension, Rogers tells us, "It is a courtesy, that is what it is. I’ve been talking to [the other designers] Jason Weesner and Hardy LeBel and a few other people on the team about this. And I said, ‘Look [I know] we’re not going to get any money from this. We were salaried employees, we were more or less work for hire. What it is is it’s a courtesy. You know damn well if we were going to make a remake of somebody else’s game, even if we weren’t going to follow it as closely as this team did, we would still thank them in the credits because it’s just the decent thing to do, right?’"

He continues, "Nowadays, it’s literally nothing to [change it]. It would literally take minutes to do. And I’m happy to point out — if they say, ‘Well, we don’t know who they are’ — they can go look on MobyGames, they can go look wherever the credits are easily found online or go back to the original game and look at the credits there. So it’s not like it’s not available, it’s not like it’s lost to the sands of time..."

Rogers tells us he was proud when he originally found out the game was being remade this Summer, believing it a testament to the original team's hard work. But upon seeing the end credits, he describes it as "a sour taste at the end of what should have been a sweet experience". He hopes that it is just an oversight that can be corrected and that Bandai Namco acts swiftly to fix the issue.

What do you make of this news? Have you seen any other instances where the original teams haven't received credit where credit is due? Let us know!